5th February 2019
CACOL HAILS PLANNED ARRAIGNMENT OF EX-NIGERIAN CUSTOMS CHIEF, DIKKO, AND TWO OTHERS FOR CORRUPT ENRICHMENT
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has hailed the proposed arraignment of a former Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko, and two others for allegedly stealing N1.1bn (One Billion, One Hundred Million Naira), being refundable “completion security deposit” for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the Nigeria Customs Service. The arraignment is slated for next week Thursday by the anti-graft agency, ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission).
In a release issued by CACOL’s Coordinator of Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, on behalf of the Executive Chairman of the Centre, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he said, “It is a good thing that the ICPC is now living up to its primary and statutory function barely twenty-four (24) hours after the formal constitution of its Board. Many have forgotten that ICPC is the major anti-graft agency that is primarily and statutorily empowered to nip corruption in the bud and fight it to a standstill amongst governmental institutions like: the Army, the Police, Customs, etc., and make recommendations to the government, from time to time, on how the fight against official heist could best be nipped in the bud.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, noted, “In the suit number; FHC/ABJ/CR/21/019 FRN V Abdullahi Inde Dikko & Ors, a former Assistant Comptroller-General of the agency in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, Garba Makarfi and Umar Hussaini, a lawyer and owner of Capital Law Office, are being listed as defendants in a suit that shows that these people induced the Managing Director of Cambial Limited, Yemi Obadeyi, to pay N1.1bn (One Billion, One Hundred Million Naira) into the account of Capital Law Office as refundable ‘completion security deposit’ for the purchase of 120 (One Hundred and Twenty) units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the Nigeria Customs Service. The duo of Messrs Dikko and Makarfi were accused of using the bank account of Mr. Hussaini’s firm to illegally receive the money. They were alleged to have also, within the same period between April 6 and December 2010, shared the money into various accounts.
The CACOL boss further noted, “The said Mr. Makarfi was accused of receiving USD3mn (Three Million Dollars) between April and December 2010, as part of the proceeds of corruption. The legal officer of ICPC, Ephraim Otti, in the affidavit he deposed to on January 25, 2019, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, said the defendants were investigated for alleged violation of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, and Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).
The CACOL Boss added, “It is however worthy of note that Mr. Dikko as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service between August 2009 and August 2015, had faced several allegations of corruption and certificate forgery in the past. Over seventeen (17) exotic vehicles were seized from him in 2017 after Justice S.M. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court in Kaduna gave an interim order for their forfeiture to the federal government. Also, dozens of brand new tricycles and motorcycles were recovered from a warehouse allegedly belonging to Mr. Dikko in the same year. This was aside many other recoveries of humongous sums of money and juicy properties recovered from the same Mr. Dikko by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as at the time under consideration.
The CACOL Boss added, “From all indications, the ICPC has a prima facie case against Dikko, whose name had been included in the list of looters released last year by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed. We are particularly excited as the coming on board of the new ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, seems to be redrawing the architecture of the fight against corruption in the country, in a way that suggests that a more Holistic Approach would be further employed with a view to recording more successes and finally consigning institutional corruption to the dustbin of our national history.”